Monday, July 25, 2016

READ & FEED at Basilica Hudson

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 11:10 AM

READ & FEED starts Saturday, July 30
  • READ & FEED starts Saturday, July 30

Basilica Hudson and Community for Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP) have teamed up to present a new festival: READ & FEED. As its name suggests, READ & FEED combines food and literature. The inaugural mini-festival features panel discussions that bring together creatives of all sorts—writers, farmers, and chefs. Examples of the panel discussions include: “Two Best Friends and a Bottle of Wine,” where authors Lydia Davis and Lynne Tillman engage with each other (and the audience) over a bottle of wine from Hudson Wine Merchants, and “Food Farming and Spirituality,” with celebrity chef Zak Pelaccio, authors Marie Mutsuki Mockett and Rozanne Gold, and organic farmer Sarah Chase discussing the manifestation of spirituality in the culinary arts.

Cooking and mixology demonstrations will take place as well in addition to a marathon reading of John Cage’s Diary: How to Improve the World (You Will Only Make Matters Worse). Several noted readers will be in attendance —Bernadette Mayer, Stephin Merrit, Dan Hurlin, Joan Retallack, Erica Kaufman and many more.

In a special poetry event, guests have a poet or literary reader read a poem to them in a secluded room. Once done with the reading, the guests are given the poem to take home.

Attendees have the option to purchase meals, drinks, and food products from Chaseholm Farms, Raven & Boar, Hudson Standard, and other vendors. Magazines, books, and cookbooks will be available from many small press and literary magazine publishers, such as Europa Editions and Conjunctions.

READ & FEED will be held on Saturday, July 30 at 4pm. Portions of the festival will be broadcast on WGXC 90.7fm and online at Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. For more information about READ & FEED visit

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Opera in Phoenicia Park

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • courtesy of the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice has always been known to mix international artists and local talent. It’s a showcase that happens in Phoenicia the first weekend every August. And with its open-air format, where attendees picnic in the parks and watch the stars emerge during performances, and its $5 youth tickets, the festival is the perfect place to share with children a love of music and theater, in a variety of styles.

Founded by a group of internationally acclaimed opera singers in 2009, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is a labor of love. Its purpose is to promote the human voice as an instrument of healing, peace, and artistic expression through world-class performances. From opera to gospel, world music to Broadway, the festival celebrates the human voice in all its multi-faceted glory. Alongside performances, there will be workshops, lectures, panels, and meet-the-artist sessions. It’s a festival that draws thousands of enthusiasts from all over the world.

The festival’s theme this year is in honor of Shakespeare, and includes an original production featuring six of the most experienced young talent from New Genesis Productions, a West-Shokan-based youth theater company dedicated to the Bard. Muse of Fire will be presented throughout the festival weekend. “This is what I hope to represent at the festival,” says writer/director Brandon Cobalt. “How we have a raw, passionate relationship with Shakespeare’s words - something you can only get from growing up with the Bard.”

The Phoenicia Festival will also be presenting youth artists from the Woodstock-based Paul Green Rock Academy Showband, the Connecticut-based youth ensemble Sing Out!, and An Crann Og, which features young musicians all the way from Donegal in Ireland.

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice in Phoenicia Park on Ursula Drive in Phoenicia: Thursday August 4th through Sunday August 7th, individual performance tickets priced at $5 Youth Admission for ages 18 and under, about $25-35 General Admission (bring blanket, lawn chair, or rent a chair), and $90+ VIP Admission with reserved section seating, champagne, snack, and a festival souvenir. Free Latte Lectures on various topics throughout the weekend and Master Class by donation. See the full schedule on their website for details. And buy tickets online.

Don’t miss the free Saturday morning latte lecture for child and youth performers.

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Black Maria Film Festival

Posted By on Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 9:00 AM

2016 Black Maria Film Festival poster
  • 2016 Black Maria Film Festival poster

Black Maria Film Festival will be coming to Upstate Films on July 29. The festival consists of nine short films: documentaries, animations, and narratives. Film and video artist Jane Steuerwald specifically curated the program for the Rhinebeck venue.

Black Maria logo
  • Black Maria logo

Now in its 35th year, Black Maria Film Festival productions honor the vision of Thomas Edison, New Jersey inventor and creator of the motion picture. Named for Edison’s New Jersey studio which he nicknamed the “black maria,” the films showcased depict issues and struggles in contemporary society.

The Bravest, the Boldest, a narrative piece, centers on Sayeeda Porter receiving news regarding her son who is serving in the war in the middle east. Her reaction is portrayed in 17 minutes. Documentary Notes from My Homeland celebrates the power of art to catalyze social movements. Malek Jandali, a Syrian-American composer, transitions from classical musician to powerful activist to respond to the Assad regime in this nine-minute film.

Some movies are slightly on the lighter side: Signwriter is a five-minute documentary about a British man who has had his dream job painting signs and narrowboats for the past sixty years.

Black Maria Film Festival will begin on July 29 at 8:30 pm at Upstate Films in Rhinebeck. For more information about the Black Maria Film Festival visit their website

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Four Artists to Host Exhibition at the John Davis Gallery

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM

On Saturday, July 23 four artists’ work will be exhibited throughout the John Davis Gallery. The show, which features an eclectic combination of sculpture, paintings and photography, will be on display through August 14. Each artist has a unique style that translates into their work, regardless of the different mediums.

Yi Zhang's sculptures will be on display in the Main Galleries. - YI ZHANG
  • Yi Zhang
  • Yi Zhang's sculptures will be on display in the Main Galleries.

Yi Zhang, a sculptor draws inspiration from different materials and collage construction as well physical sensations, like the movement of the body. “Different substances, connected together, communicate and share their innate life producing new emotions and revealing their potential inner natures. The actions performed, the process, emanate from my emotion and reaction to the possible combination of forms,” Zhang says.

Willard Boepple's sculptures will be exhibited in the Sculpture Garden and the ground floor of the Carriage House. - WILLARD BOEPPLE
  • Willard Boepple
  • Willard Boepple's sculptures will be exhibited in the Sculpture Garden and the ground floor of the Carriage House.

The other sculptor, Willard Boepple, specializes in creating abstract pieces that are “driven purely by the visual experience of it.” Boepple wants his work “to speak directly without narrative or message other than that which is created by the sculpture’s own form and presence,” as he says.

Dugdale's blue photographs will be exhibited on the second and fourth floor of the Carriage House. - JOHN DUGDALE
  • John Dugdale
  • Dugdale's blue photographs will be exhibited on the second and fourth floor of the Carriage House.

John Dugdale’s medium differs from Zhang and Boepple: photography. After losing his sight, Dugdale turned to languages and techniques from the mid 19th century to express himself. His pieces are created using a process invented in 1842, cyanotype, which gives them the ethereal blue color.

Tambella's paintings will be shown on the third floor of the Carriage House. - MARK TAMBELLA
  • Mark Tambella
  • Tambella's paintings will be shown on the third floor of the Carriage House.

Similarly, painter Mark Tambella combines stolen, imagined, remembered imagery with expressionistic, still life and portrait techniques to produce colorful paintings. His paintings transport the viewer to scenes of the past— pizza parlors, casinos, etc.— and invite the viewer to go beyond the images.

The opening for the artists will be on Saturday, July 23 from 6pm to 8pm. For additional information about the exhibition and the artists please visit

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Fiddle Fever Reunites for Summer Hoot

Posted By on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Fiddle Fever
  • Fiddle Fever

Without doubt, one of the absolute highlights of the Hudson Valley summer is the Ashokan Center’s annual Summer Hoot, which will once again take place at the Woodstock-adjacent nature/history/arts site on August 26, 27, and 28.

The family-friendly Hoot features world-class music on two volunteer-built outdoor stages, camping, hiking, food and craft vendors, camping, hiking, and other unique experiences within the beautiful setting and rustic buildings of the center’s site. Performing on the festival’s traditionally roots-oriented bill this year are The Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Don Flemons, the reunited Fiddle Fever (with Jay Ungar), Baby States, Tracy Bonham, Robert Sarazin-Blake and the Package, Simi Stone, Chris Merenda and the Wheel, host duo Mike & Ruthy, and many more.

Right here’s a teaser for the event:

The 2016 Summer Hoot will take place at the Ashokan Center in Olivebridge, New York, on August 26, 27, and 28. For ticket prices/purchases and other information, visit

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Mark Brown Returns to Rosendale Cafe

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Mark Brown
  • Mark Brown

Given that Mark Brown is maybe the best local Hudson Valley singer-songwriter of the post-Dylan generation (Steve Earle seems to have moved on; he always seemed like an interloper, anyway, his genius aside), the decade between the lone 2005 album by Brown’s old band, Uncle Buckle, and Skin & Bone, his exceptional 2015 solo debut, added up to a long, hard wait. But Brown is a master craftsman, and he’s never been in any hurry to, borrowing a line here from Phil Ochs, play the chords of fame. He seems to just want to do good work and write good songs. And in a rare return to the stage the reclusive journeyman Brown will be singing some of those songs at the Rosendale Cafe on August 6.

Brown’s country-folk tunes mirror his Woody Guthrie-esque troubadour working life as a carpenter, a farmer, a deep sea fisherman, and a mechanic, among other gigs. The stylistic reference points are impeccable: John Prine, Tom Waits, Johnny Cash. But Brown brings his own parched voice to the confessional songwriter’s stool as he weaves his weathered tales of creosote, corn, posthole diggers, and girls on dirt bikes.

“See You Next Time” is the opening cut of Skin & Bone:

Mark Brown and his band will perform at the Rosendale Cafe in Rosendale, New York, on August 6 at 8pm. Admission is $10. For more information, call (845) 658-9048 or visit

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Monday, July 18, 2016

The Hudson Valley Chalk Festival

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM

  • courtesy of Hudson Valley Chalk Festival

After attending one of the biggest chalk festivals in the country while on vacation with her family in Sarasota, Florida, Amanda Lipstein wished aloud on the airplane home that she could do something like that in the Hudson Valley. It so happened that she was sitting near Rod Tryon, a professional chalk artist, who overheard and replied, “Let’s do it!” With his connections to the chalk artist community, and in partnership with Theresa Fall from Water Street Market in New Paltz, Lipstein planned the first Hudson Valley Chalk Festival from her college dorm in South Carolina. A biennial event, the fourth festival will take place this year on July 22-24.

  • courtesy of Hudson Valley Chalk Festival

There will be twenty-two professional chalk artists setting up space on New Paltz sidewalks, plus local artists who might be trying out a new medium, and an open chalking area for collaborations by the public. A free workshop on Thursday, July 21st, will be taught by professional street painter Michael Las Casas, where participants will have a chance to try chalking in a small square. For 10-year-old Juneau Beauport, the experience of learning from artists in the 2014 Chalk Festival was transformative. This year, he’ll be marking his own space as the youngest chalk artist exhibiting in the festival.

The Hudson Valley Chalk Festival is a great family event. Aside from watching the chalk paintings come to life on the village streets, there will be free face painting and live music on Saturday and Sunday. An illusionist will work the crowd, and the Renegades mascot will be there. Two cars that have been painted with chalkboard paint will be around for festival-goers to mark. Plus, Water Street Market itself, with its food and drink, shopping, and ice cream, is a bit of a festival waiting to happen.

The Fourth Biennial Hudson Valley Chalk Festival at Water Street Market in New Paltz: July 22-24, 2016, 9a til dusk, all ages, free! Free artist workshop on Thursday, July 21st, 10a-6p, all ages, no sign up necessary. Live music on Saturday and Sunday, 12-6p. Check their Facebook page for weather updates.
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Little Donny Trump Needs a Nap

A Graphic Novel by Matt Maley

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Illustrated by Matt Maley
  • Illustrated by Matt Maley

Hudson Valley artist and writer Matt Maley alludes to why Trump is such a grump. Maley’s Little Donny Trump will have you wondering if our republican candidate still needs a nice, long nap. Because he’s clearly too busy telling people what he thinks.

The terror that is baby Donny Trump wreaks havoc—insulting his peers including Rosie O’Donnel, Barrack Obama, and Hillary Clinton and others. He threatens to ban a Muslim girl. Tells the president of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto, “I’m building this wall and you’re paying for it.” Additionally, he insults everyone who disagrees with him. He also makes a big “boom boom.”

Considering the graphic novel is fueled by direct Trump quotes deconstructed into child's storyline. The only difference between the baby tyrant and Trump is that little Donny’s got more than just a few wisps of hair on his head.

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Spoon River Apology

A parody of Spoon River Anthology

Posted By on Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Mikhail Horowitz
  • Mikhail Horowitz

For the past two years, Mikhail Horowitz of Actors and Writers wrote Spoon River Apology, a parody of Edgar Lee Masters’ classic Spoon River Anthology.

Masters’ book length poem was composed of short postmortem monologues that portray the fictional midwestern town of Spoon River. So Horowitz created the fictitious town of Woodspoon, New York where the deceased denizens of the now vanished town address the living (audience) through digital epitaphs.

Woodspoon, inspired by Woodstock, was made in counterpoint to Master’s community: If Spoon River had a blacksmith—Woodspoon has an aromatherapist and a chiropractor.

The third locally staged group reading of Spoon River Apology will take place at Maverick Concert Hall in Woodstock on Friday, July 29 after a showing of What You’ve Brought: Four Short Takes on the Theme of Antiques Roadshow by David Smilow.

Masters’ Spoon River community had more than 200 town residents while Woodspoon has 32 residents: A cast of 15 will read (so the evening will go quickly.)

Admission is $10 suggested donation. Doors open at 7:30PM. The show starts at 8PM.

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Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Spirit of St. Louis Soars Again

Posted By on Sat, Jul 16, 2016 at 9:00 AM

“I was astonished at the effect my successful landing in France has on the nations of the world. To me, it was like a match lighting a bonfire.” Charles A. Lindbergh

On May 21, 1927 a tall lanky Minnesota farm boy landed an odd single-engine plane with cloth-doped wings, and a periscope (massive fuel tanks obstructed the forward view) at Le Bourget Field in France, completing the first, non-stop, 3610 mile, transatlantic flight from New York to Paris in 33.5 hours. The achievement garnered the $25,000 Orteig Prize and catapulted Charles Augustus Lindbergh (1902-1974) to international acclaim, while the Spirit of St. Louis became the most renowned plane in aviation history. Courageous hero, pioneering aviator, explorer, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author (as well as an anti-Semite and philanderer), Lindbergh was above all else a complex and obdurate individualist. Sadly, his success led to tragedy (the kidnapping and murder of his son, Charles A. Jr.) and ultimately vilification by the Roosevelt administration for his outspoken non-interventionist stance prior to WW II (he subsequently flew 50 combat missions in the Pacific during the war).

The Spirit of St. Louis in flight. - LARRY SWAYNE
  • Larry Swayne
  • The Spirit of St. Louis in flight.

Lindbergh used his fame to tirelessly promote the Gospel of Flight through good will tours, charting flights to South America, Europe and Asia, advising Pan American, Transworld Airlines, the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and the Strategic Air Command, flying B52 bombers, testing new jets, and supporting Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry. Towards the end of his life, however, Lindbergh questioned the values of technology and progress and actively supported indigenous peoples and environmentalism, observing, “If civilization is to continue, modern man must direct the material power of his science by the spiritual truth of his God.”

The original Spirit of St. Louis, named for Lindbergh’s financial backers and officially known as the Ryan NYP, hangs from the ceiling in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Specifically designed for its historical transatlantic flight, the modified Ryan M-2 strut-braced monoplane with a 46’ wingspan was built in two months by the small Diego firm of Ryan Airlines Corporation. The Spirit was powered by a 223-hp air-cooled, 9-cylinder, Wright J-5C “Whirlwind” engine fueled by five massive fuel tanks totaling 450 gallons, which when filled brought its total weight to 5,135 lbs.

Today the Spirit lives on in a recently completed exact replica (which involved several visits to the Smithsonian) built over a twenty year period at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Long the dream of founder Cole Palen, who obtained an old restored Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine in the 1970’s, the plane was completed by vintage maintenance manager and pilot, Ken Cassens. On May 21, 2016, the 89th anniversary of Lindbergh’s original flight, the new Spirit of St. Louis soared above the aerodrome to the delight of several hundred aviation enthusiasts, many of whom were attired in 1920’s apparel. For more information and to “catch the spirit” at future events visit

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